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Gene Kelly - Anatomy of a Dancer [VHS] (2002)

Robert Trachtenberg  |  NR |  VHS Tape
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Directors: Robert Trachtenberg
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Eurpac
  • VHS Release Date: September 24, 2002
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006FDHJ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,555 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

The life and career of this film star and innovator whose work includes Singin' in the Rain, On the Town, and An American in Paris are vibrantly recalled in this profile of the driven genius--often narcissistic, always a perfectionist--who reenergized the movie musical and redefined dance on screen. Packed with marvelous clips (including rare footage of Kelly's breakthrough Pal Joey Broadway role) and interviews with family members and Hollywood colleagues, Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer is the definitive look at a magical talent whose story has never been fully told until now. It's a life to be watched, celebrated, enjoyed. 87 minutes.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 56 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars well done March 9, 2006
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a fine look at Gene Kelly. Some of the footage used is miraculous - the duet of Kelly with Astaire is amazing. The reminiscences from a number of people work well, the pace of interview/footage is well crafted. Some of Kelly's career gets glossed without much attention, but for a 90 min. documentary, this is about as good as it gets. The tone of the piece is never cloying, for all the admiration Kelly engenders, and rightfully so. He was an immense artist. Stanley Tucci narrates, and there's ample enough coverage of his private life, especially with his children, to whet your appetite for more. The presentation of his art is first-rate, even as you want more. Gene Kelly's admirers won't be disappointed.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant bio-docu worthy of Gene Kelly's genius! November 22, 2002
By A Customer
Every once in a while a biographical documentary comes along that transcends the genre and is a worthy film into and of itself. Very often those shows have been part of the wonderful AMERICAN MASTERS series on PBS, and GENE KELLY:ANATOMY OF A DANCER is probably the best I haev ever seen. Intelligent, cogent, and taking a decidedly non-traditional approach, the film is made with the same kind of meticulous care that its subject put into his filmmaking, choreography, and performing.
The interviews are provocative, the clips not predictable, and always entertaining. It's shows like this that remind us what cinematic life portraits used to be like before ...Truly 'S wonderful!
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, informative and entertaining.... August 4, 2005
This documentary provides real insight into the man, Gene Kelly, behind the dancing shoes, flashy choreography and "leading man" status in countless musicals. It opens with two men discussing the meaning of life, and one of them refers to Kelly's "Singin' In the Rain" sequence as being one of the most beautiful scenes ever filmed in the movies. I think it is safe to say that many of us will agree.........and those of us who don't agree, probably haven't seen the movie yet! (and they should!)

This film takes a look at Gene, through the eyes of his daughter, his first wife, his co-stars, film critics, and juxtaposes these views with clips of some amazing dance numbers. There was even rare footage of Gene Kelly, before he became the star he remains to be today, preserved in film and in our hearts and minds. This was of his footwork in a staged version of the musical, "Pal Joey." This young man, who started out as an Econ major, and then went on to fluorish as an accomplished dancer, and even taught lessons, was brimming with talent from the beginning. What made Kelly so accessible as a dancer and performer, was his universal, down-to-earth appeal. He was truly the "every man." This is made reference to on several occasions, as the documentary progressed. Gene made dancing masculine, and something that men should not only feel free to do (like a sport), but also something they should take pride in.

This is definitely a "must see."
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I enjoyed this documentary very much, great for any fan of Mr. Kelly! But I would suggest purchasing the 2 disc edition of An American in Paris, which has this documentary as a special feature, it is less expensive, and if you like Gene Kelly enough to own this documentary then you should own An American in Paris anyway!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible! April 4, 2004
Another top notch documentary from American Masters. This biography of G Kelly is just incredible. An excellent review of his life and films. The big ones, like Singing in the Rain and American in Paris, but also many of the lesser known films. Will leave you shaking your head on how anyone could dance like this. As pointed out in the film, his dancing appealed to men as well as women. His physical abilities made dancing look both artistic and athletic. He created dance numbers never tried before, and not seen since on the silver screen. In addition to all this, the film quality is unbelievable. Nearly every movie clip was restored to better than original condition. The colors and clarity, especially on a high def tv, are so sharp you will not believe these are 50+ year old movie clips. Bottom line, this 85 min documentary is five stars all the way.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent DVD for Kelly fans December 21, 2002
By ellafan
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
If you are a fan of the wonderful Mr.Kelly,then this is the DVD for you.Lots of interesting background info,and lots of dancing! I fell in love with him when I saw "Singin' in the Rain"when I was a little kid,and have been happily purchasing everything on DVD that is available.The quality of the DVD is excellent,as well.Now excuse me,please,while I go outside and splash around in a few mud puddles!!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Just this week, Time Magazine cited this 2002 documentary as one of seven must-see films for any lover of dance, and I agree this is an extremely well-done feature on an indisputably gifted practitioner, Gene Kelly, by filmmaker Robert Trachtenberg (who did a similarly insightful film on Cary Grant, "A Class Apart", two years later). Originally aired as part of PBS's "American Masters" series, the film follows Kelly's life and career chronologically with an obvious emphasis on his golden decade between his 1942 film debut co-starring with Judy Garland in "For Me and My Gal" to his career peak as star, choreographer and co-director (with protégé Stanley Donen) of 1952's "Singin' in the Rain".

While his artistry and perfectionism are well-known with the results proving as much, Kelly is also portrayed fairly for his ego-driven decisions, intolerance for others who did not uphold his standards and an almost obsessive need for attention. But his intentions were clear, and his first wife, actress Betsy Blair, who provides the most cogent and insightful comments among the interviewees, shrewdly observes Kelly's desire to democratize dance for the masses. So focused on this idea was Kelly that he even produced a 1958 TV special, "Dancing: A Man's Game", excerpts of which are shown in the film showing how dance and professional sports were akin to one another.

The film spotlights memorable moments - his newspaper-tearing dance in "Summer Stock", the impressionistic ballet finale from "An American in Paris", the roller skating number in "It's Always Fair Weather" and of course, his effusive turn in a downpour in "Singin' in the Rain".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gene Kelly the man
Aside from enjoying some of Gene Kelly's iconic scenes from films, I feel that I got to know more about the man behind the movie star. Very informative and entertaining.
Published 27 days ago by Gary Darrow
5.0 out of 5 stars A great documentary about America’s premier dancer
Gene Kelly is arguably the greatest and most innovative dancer in American history, with a career spanning the period from the mid-1920s almost until his death in 1996. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Marvin D. Pipher
5.0 out of 5 stars Gene Kelly
Got this as a gift for my step-mom. She loves it. I would recommend this product to anyone who is interested.
Published 3 months ago by Gina Clinch
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart of a dancer
Gene Kelly is one of a kind. His heart and soul belonged to the art of dance. The energy he always displayed is amazing. I have most all of his movies. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Classic country girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer
Learned alot about Gene Kelly from 'Anatomy of a Dancer'. He was an incredible person who was incredibly passionate about dance! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Maria Curulli
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep on Dancing!
Wonderful video. Bought it for my daughter, she takes dance lessons from Gene Kelly's niece. Also got Singing in the Rain.
Published 6 months ago by Ghuseline
5.0 out of 5 stars Gene Kelly was the Best
I would watch Gene Kelly in any movie, TV show, whatever....just love him. This DVD gives insight into his technique and has great highlights
Published 8 months ago by ddayzz
5.0 out of 5 stars Well-balanced review of Kelly career
Well-documented and interesting study of Gene Kelly's impact on the Hollywood musical. Excellent voiceover and choice of examples from Kelly's movies.
Published 8 months ago by James Pegolotti
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming and perfectionist dancer
I love this DVD because you can have an idea of the way he worked and can see many performances though we fans also have his films to enjoy his dancing. Read more
Published 9 months ago by G. laura Cecilia
4.0 out of 5 stars A Legend
We always loved to watch Gene Kelly movies, but never knew anything about his personal life until we watched this very good documentary.
Published 12 months ago by Chuck
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